REGISTER VIEWPOINT: Waterfront work must consider whole community

The Sandusky Yacht Club needs to step back and consider the bigger picture. The club, in the person of Treasurer Mark Gacka,
Sandusky Register Staff
May 24, 2010

 

The Sandusky Yacht Club needs to step back and consider the bigger picture.

The club, in the person of Treasurer Mark Gacka, has been before the City Commission numerous times, asking the city to vacate part of Perry Street or lease the property to the club, for the club to develop.

The commission's position is the property in question is to remain public.

The other problem is part of the property in question is to be part of the Marina District project, which calls for development of the city hall and Battery Park areas into condominiums, hotel, restaurant-retail and enhanced public access to the bayfront.

The yacht club, or at least Gacka, intends to keep the pressure up, fully proceeding with the options available to it and escalating public debate.

The Yacht Club is a long-standing member of the community, but whatever it has in mind will benefit the club first and the larger community second. As long as the Marina District project is meant for public use, decisions regarding it have to take precedence.

Indeed, the club ought to reach into its own recent history for an example. Back in the late 1980s, the club wanted to expand its marina and sought city help in doing so. The negotiations took a while, but the city eventually agreed to help -- on the condition the breakwall of the expanded marina be open to the public for fishing or just sightseeing along the bayfront. It's worked out well for all involved. Expensive boats tie up in the marina, guarded by a wall of riprap -- along which ordinary people stroll, watch sunsets or drown bait. Cooperation was the key, and it's needed again here. The club needs to either back off -- at least for now -- or consider how to modify its plans to fit in with the Marina District, or whatever happens along the shore to its east.